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FLASHBACK - PSA President Watson Duke speaking during a press conference at PSA Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain.

The Banking Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) has thrown its support behind the call by the Public Service Association (PSA) to its members, to stay at home on Tuesday 2nd March 2021.

In an official statement issued this morning by General Secretary, Trevor Johnson, BIGWU is calling on its members to show solidarity with the PSA membership, to highlight the issue of stalled collective bargaining negotiations.

“The BIGWU calls upon its membership in those state sector companies where it has representative status, and the free collective bargaining process is being obstructed to show solidarity with the call,” the release states.

According to BIGWU, the Minister of Finance has indicated that he is central to the Chief Personnel Officer, as the employer of Public Sector workers under the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act, not being empowered to engage in collective bargaining for revision of collective agreements with public sector unions. 

The union points out that the result has been “stymied negotiations with Unions representing workers in State Sector companies and which take directives from the CPO in negotiations for collective agreements”.

“Effectively, all indications are—notwithstanding utterances to the contrary—that a decision has been taken by government to not treat in good faith with Trade Unions representing workers in the Public/State Sector as is required by the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act and the principles and practices of good industrial relations,” BIGWU argues.

The union says in this context, its membership in the State sector is encouraged to show solidarity with public servants, and stay home from work on Tuesday 2nd March 2021.